FTC Announces “Operation CBDeceit” to Crack Down on Misleading CBD Businesses

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a “law enforcement crackdown” on deceptively marketed CBD products on Thursday. As part of the action, the FTC filed litigation against six companies which sell products containing CBD with claims that they made unsupported marketing claims about the products’ ability to treat various health conditions. 

The FTC said it was hoping to send a message to the CBD industry that they should not make claims which are not medically supported, and that if they do, they could face consequences from the FTC.  The effort, known as “Operation CBDeceit” is reportedly just a part of the FTC’s efforts to protect consumers against misleading health claims in advertising and on websites. 

The press release said “The FTC is requiring each of the companies, and individuals behind them, to stop making such unsupported health claims immediately, and several will pay monetary judgments to the agency. The orders settling the FTC’s complaints also bar the respondents from similar deceptive advertising in the future, and require that they have scientific evidence to support any health claims they make for CBD and other products.”

At least two of the companies, Bionatrol Health and Isle Revive, were also accused of promoting misleading upsells and not displaying price totals or amounts causing consumers to spend more than they meant to on the companies’ website.  Those companies and others the FTC filed cases against, including Epichouse, CBD Meds, Inc., HempmeCBD, Reef Industries, and Steves Distributing, reportedly advertised that CBD was safe for all, that it can treat pain, improve various health conditions, or prevent serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, or Alzheimer’s disease. 

The Federal Trade Commission reported that votes approving each of the administrative complaints were 5-0. Reportedly, a description of the consent agreement package on the matter will be published to the Federal Registrar for public comment before the consent order is final.  When that occurs, each violation of the order could have a civil penalty of up to $43,280.